USC defensive ends coach Mike Peterson, a former NFL defensive end, is very interested in DE Bryan Thomas Jr. (6-2 215) of Fort Lauderdale, whose father also was an NFL defensive end and in the league at the same time as Peterson. Thomas Jr. has been well tutored by his father, and he sees the opportunity for further growth at the position if he chooses to play for Peterson and the Gamecocks.
“If you’re a veteran of the NFL, that means you learn from the best of the best,” Thomas said. “That means you know everything. Really, there’s nothing wrong with learning from the best of the best. If you learn from somebody who made it to where you’re trying to get to, it gets no better than that.”
Thomas said he hears from Peterson and USC head coach Shane Beamer about 2-3 times per week. He displayed his skills for them at a June 19th camp. While in Columbia for that, he got a chance to check out some of the football complex.
“I got to see the players’ lounge, the locker room, the weight room and the training room,” Thomas said. “It was very, very nice. The players’ lounge, they have a whole movie theatre in there, and a basketball hoop. And I think they said the locker room is new. It looked very nice. And the weight room is very big. You won’t get in anybody’s way.”
Thomas will return to USC for the season opening game, this time for an official visit. Soon after that trip, he plans to make his commitment decision.
“I still have to go over it with my parents because we are still talking about it, but my parents definitely want me to go to South Carolina and get the feel of it,” Thomas said. “Basically, have the full experience and then make my decision. That’s what we’re planning right now.”
Thomas made an official visit to West Virginia in June. He also camped at FIU. Marshall is the other school he is considering but he has yet to visit Huntington. He also made camp stops at Florida, UCF, Miami and Florida State.
Thomas is rated a three-star in the 247Sports Composite and is ranked the #48 edge rusher nationally. He is coming off a season of 11 quarterback sacks.
“They say my best attribute is getting to the quarterback,” Thomas said. “Getting off the ball, that’s the thing they see me doing at the next level. I see myself doing that at the next level also. That’s on me and my dad. We really train on the technique, because that’s the most important thing, handwork, getting off the ball and getting to that quarterback, because that’s what makes money.”
The Gamecocks have two defensive linemen committed for their 2022 class at this point. They also are in a strong position with DT Demetrius Watson of Fort Dorchester.